Wednesday evening at RIMAC Arena, UCSD, currently ranked No. 13, again trotted out to a two-sets-to-none advantage on Princeton. This time, however, the host Tritons, despite getting a mild scare of a repeat in dropping game three, closed out their opponent for the 3-1 victory. Set scores were 25-23, 25-22, 21-25 and 25-19.
The result snapped a three-match losing skid for UCSD, as it improved to 4-6 overall on the year. Princeton, playing just its second match of 2013 by comparison, fell to 1-1. The Tigers had upset No. 12 UC Santa Barbara in Santa Barbara, 3-1, on Tuesday night.
Vaun Lennon led UCSD with 13 kills while adding five digs and three total blocks. Cheyne Hayes was a second Triton with double-figure kills, putting down 12 to go with five total blocks. Senior outside hitter Carl Eberts reached double digits in digs for the fifth time in his career, finishing with a team-high 11 to complement eight kills. Sophomore setter Garrett Dempsey collected 41 assists and six digs. Senior libero Chase Frishman had eight digs.
Junior middle blocker Fred Stahl contributed five kills on eight swings without an error (.625), and also got his hands to seven total blocks, tying his career high. His haul included a pair of solo stuff blocks, both coming midway through the third game.
For Princeton, Pat Schwagler had a match-high 14 kills while Cody Kessel produced a double-double with 11 kills and a match-high 12 digs. Libero Tony Ensbury added 10 digs of his own.
The two teams combined for 36 service errors, including four straight at one stage of the third set.
A tight first frame featured four lead changes and 13 tie scores, the last of which came at 23-23 before an Eberts kill and combination block by Hayes and Sebastian Brady put the Tritons on top.
Though the Tritons scored the first four points of the second set, they later found themselves trailing, 20-19. That's when Princeton made attack errors on three straight points to suddenly stare at a two-point deficit at 22-20. A kill by Eberts coming out of a timeout put UCSD in command and brought about the Tigers' second and final timeout of the game. Stahl's kill in between a pair of Princeton kills pushed UCSD to set point, with a service error giving the frame to the Tritons.
UCSD ran out to a 3-0 lead in the third set as well, but at 20-20, Princeton scored four straight and ultimately forced a fourth game as the Tritons made two attack errors and two service errors, including one on set point, down the stretch.
The Tritons were in control throughout most of the fourth set, leading by scores of 16-11 and by as many as eight at 22-14 before settling on the 25-19 result as Brady's kill ended it.
Having concluded a three-match homestand, the Tritons now return to Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) action this weekend, playing at No. 12 UCSB and No. 5 UCLA on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Both first serves are set for 7 p.m.
Triton Notes: With eight more kills tonight, Carl Eberts increased his career total to 867, ninth-most in program history, as he vies to become just the fifth Triton ever to reach the 1,000-kill plateau ... Vaun Lennon now has 20 career matches with 10-plus kills ... With his eight digs, Chase Frishman has 527 for his career, moving him into fifth on the all-time UCSD list ahead of Phil Bannan (522) ... Cheyne Hayes achieved a double-digit kills total for the third time in 2013 and fourth time in his career ... Tonight's contest marked the seventh straight season in which Princeton has played in La Jolla ... The Tritons had won the previous five prior to the come-from-behind Tiger triumph in 2012 ... Vaun Lennon and senior Princeton middle blocker Michael Dye helped Loyola High School of Los Angeles to the 2009 CIF title together ... Fred Stahl and junior Tiger setter Jeff Stapleton also were teammates at San Jose's Bellarmine College Prep.
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